Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dear Marvin X, A poem for my teacher

Dear Marvin X
It is 2013
the fire is low
and knowing has never been needed more
we need knowing like a dope fiend need a hit
but a dope fiend is dedicated
we just in the dark
wont reach for the light
wont reach
just down here on the ground
needing to know
you know
you tell
you cant be quiet you know so much
are you tired because we still refuse to know
is the knowing heavy
does it hurt to be the smartest 
nigger in the room
here with us with a flash light
and that damn tireless pen
but still you cant get
us home
you think we too far gone?
you agree with your mother yet?
living gets lonely
niggers die
niggers wont know
niggers go crazy
niggers wont know
niggers drink henny & baileys and drive alone
running from knowing
that niggers got to know
so I pray for old men
who drive alone
and the wonder of them
--Ayodele Nzinga, Ph.D.

Ayodele is Marvin X's top student, having worked with him since 1981 when she directed his play In the Name of Love when he taught drama at Oakland's Laney College. In 1998 she joined his Recovery Theatre and directed his play One Day in the Life, also performed in the drama that is known as the longest running African American drama in northern California. Ayodele now has her own theatre, the Lower Bottom Playaz in West Oakland. 

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